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con-air

CON AIR (1997)

Highly decorated military official Cameron Poe finds himself sent to prison for manslaughter after his attempts to protect his wife in a drunken brawl goes terribly awry.  Eight years later, Poe is finally up for parole and he anxiously awaits transport home to wife and kids via the "Jailbird," a plane known to transport the most vicious murderers in Louisiana's maximum security Felltham Penitentiary.  En route to freedom, the Jailbird is hijacked by "cons" that detour the plane a la Vegas.  When officials contemplate ways to "ground" the Bird, it's up to Poe and several ground officials to intervene and find an alternative solution before a bullet-riddled Jailbird is shot out of the sky.

The cast includes Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi, Ving Rhames, Rachel Ticotin, and Colm Meaney.

Director Simon West's "Con-Air" is an exciting, action packed adrenaline pumper.

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"This movie is fast, furious and full of action."
"Welcome to Con Air - fasten your seat belts and enjoy the movie."



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The basic story involves a former Army Special Forces highly decorated U.S. Ranger, Cameron Poe, who served eight years in prison for an accidental bar fight killing, while defending his wife, pregnant with their daughter. Released from prison, he is unfortunate enough to be flying home on a plane, The Jail Bird, that is filled with super dangerous killer cons on their way to a maximum security prison. These incredibly bad cons hijack their air taxi, and fly toward Las Vegas. The authorities want to blow the plane out of the sky, but U.S. Marshall, Vince Larkin (John Cusack) works with Poe on the plane to finally defeat the cons when they land at Las Vegas, much to the relief of his wife, Tricia, and young daughter, Casey.

The lovely Monica Potter plays Tricia, and young Landry Allbright played the eight year old daughter.

While the screenplay could've used one or two more rewrites, to take care of some of the plot holes, the cast, the action, and the direction makes Con Air one of the best entertaining action films, and is enjoyable for what it is; an exciting, gripping, manly man action flick.

Cage, with a pretty good southern accent, is quite credible as this action, semi-good guy former convict, as a dedicated, caring family man, and trained professional, who can kill men in at least twelve different ways. During the jail time montage, he has pictures of his wife and baby girl on his wall. As the child grows, the pictures change. Her drawings and important events also decorate his jail cell.

When Cage brings his considerable acting chops to a role like this, he brings an extra element of drama and humanity you don't get in the action flicks of Sly, or Big Arnold, or even Bruce Willis, despite HIS considerable talent and popularity. After he had the perfect opportunity to leave, Poe stays on the plane, in order to help both his diabetic friend, and protect the now captive hispanic female officer from some rapists on the plane. Cage made it all believable. As he covertly works against the bad guys, in cahoots with Marshall Larkin, he adds a lot of depth to his character, instead of being the typical, one dimensional action hero.

"Con-Air" offers some masterfully staged action sequences, particularly when the bad scumbags take over the plane. The action is brutal and explosive. Director Simon West is the responsible party.

John Malkovich is fantastic as the chief bad guy, Cyrus 'The Virus' Grissom, the head, calm but nasty ringleader of the "baddest bunch of baddies." He makes his sick, twisted serial killer character somewhat likable. Malkovich, as he's proven in films as diverse as "Dangerous Liaisons" and "In the Line of Fire," is one of America's finest actors.

The entire cast gets credit for exceptional acting with special notice to John Cusack who was perfect for his "good guy" role.

If you like CON AIR you may enjoy THE ROCK, AIR FORCE ONE, GROSSE POINT BLANK, DIE HARD, and GONE IN SIXTY SECONDS.